Self Expression Magazine

Disenchantment with Harry Potter

Posted on the 20 July 2014 by Tk @TKRV12

On June 30th, 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Sorcerer’s Stone was released.  To this day, I still have no idea why calling it the Philosopher’s Stone would have been that big of a deal, nor do I understand how the books gained such instant popularity.

I’ve never read the books, but have committed myself to reading through the whole series this year. My friends have told me I just have to make it through the first three books and then I’ll get it. The thing is, I remember these books taking over the world in 1997. People were obsessed with J.R. Rowling from her very first book. I finished that book earlier this year and am now suffering through the second book.  I still don’t get it.

nerdy sideI’m not trying to say anything about the Harry Potter fandom.  Until I finish all seven books, something I fully intend on doing this year, I don’t think I have any right to judge. Even once I’ve finished them, how can I complain about someone liking something?

One some level, I understand. My favorite young adult series to this day is Vampire Academy. Last year, I read through the whole series for the first time in years. I was amazed at how childish the first two books were. It wasn’t until the end of the second book that things took a dark, complicated and adult turn.

Maybe Harry Potter is the same. The first two to three books were just to get people hooked. They had to be simple enough that people who didn’t read a lot could get through them and complex enough that avid book lovers would eat them up. This must be a young adult thing.

Either way, its agony forcing my way through these book. I admit, there are a couple of things that I enjoy. The troll in the first book was well detailed, as was the experience with the whooping tree (or whatever it’s called). Things are getting better. I just feel like there are young adults books out there who, even with their simple beginnings were far better than Harry Potter. I mean, there’s a theme park dedicated to Harry Potter. Certainly even the first few books should be reasonable good to read.

This photo, “little harry potter” is copyright (c) 2014 woodleywonderworks on Flickr and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic licenseThis photo, “little harry potter” is copyright (c) 2014 woodleywonderworks on Flickr and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Maybe I’m just jealous. That’s a lie. I am jealous. I’m jealous because there are many other worlds hidden away in books I would love to step into instead of Harry Potter. I also hate how every young adult made into a movie tries to emulate what happened with Harry Potter. Does no one in Hollywood understand that the key to success is to make a movie as close to the book as possible? How many books have they shit on because they tried to turn the original story into something it was never meant to be ( please take a moment to mourn for the Vampire Academy movie and The Host movie).

All that said, I am committed to reading through the whole series. I doubt I will join the world in its Harry Potter obsession and I certainly don’t think I’ll ever want to see the theme park any more than another. I just want to finish it to see if I can figure out what all the hype is about. I certainly haven’t figured it out yet.

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